Things to do near
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling
Vaalwater (16.9 km from Rankins Pass)
Savannah Horse Trails offer multi day horse riding safaris amongst wildlife in the Waterberg Mountains. This scenically diverse landscape of open savannah plains, river valleys and panoramic mountainous views offers an exhilarating riding experience. Horses are responsive, well-trained, happy and healthy horses; tack is in excellent condition.
Bela Bela (Warmbaths) (22.6 km from Rankins Pass)
Offering 21 species of antelope, rich birdlife and two unusual hiking trails, Diepdrift Private Nature Reserve near Bela Bela is a great option for weekend hikers in Gauteng.
The Diepdrift Sable Hiking Trail follows an undulating course over Elandsfontein and Diepdrift farms before crossing a mountain range and into a kloof. The reward at the top of the plateau is knockout panoramic views of the bushveld landscape. Keep an eye open for sable, nyala, waterbuck, giraffe, kudu and Burchell’s zebra.
Duration: 2 days
Difficulty: Easy to moderate (steep ascents and descents)
Distance: 24 km
Bela Bela (Warmbaths) (22.8 km from Rankins Pass)
Diepdrift Hiking Trails are situated on Diepdrift Private Nature Reserve near Bela Bela on the Rooiberg / Thabazimbi road. To see wildlife on foot and for a real taste of the bushveld, do the two-day circular Hippo Hiking Trail.
Crocodile and hippo can be seen at the pool – be exceptionally careful here. Other animals to spot on the trail include giraffe, sable, nyala, eland, kudu, red hartebeest, Burchell’s zebra, impala, blue wildebeest, reed buck, waterbuck, gemsbok, bushpig, warthogs and small antelope.
Duration: 2 days
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Distance: 22 km
Warning: Be extremely cautious at the pool – hippo and crocodile are very dangerous
Bela Bela (Warmbaths) (24.4 km from Rankins Pass)
Zebula Golf Course offers a superlative golfing experience on a Peter Matkovich designed golf course.
Teeing off on this pristine 1 200-hectare bushveld estate is a considerable pleasure with its wildlife spectators, tranquility and vast open spaces.
Giraffe, zebra, eland, kudu, gemsbok, Nyala, impala, Red Hartebeest, Blue Wildebeest, warthog, bushpig and many more species could be watching while you hit an ace.
Combining the wonders of golf with wildlife and the quintessential African environment is the fulfilment of a long standing dream for Peter Matkovitch.
Designed to blend unobtrusively into the bush, Zebula also adheres to eco-sensitive development guidelines. Other celebrated Peter Matkovitch courses are Leopard Rock, Spier, Steenberg and Arabella, the highest ranked new course in South Africa.
Zebula Country Club also features a restaurant, cocktail bar, TV lounge, swimming pool, fully equipped gymnasium, Jacuzzi, squash court and tennis courts.
Vaalwater (27.3 km from Rankins Pass)
Equus Horse Safaris operates on Equus Reserve in horse-riding heaven, the Waterberg Mountains, one of South Africa's least explored wilderness areas. Here guests are given an enlightening, unique bush experience on horseback through one of the most exciting riding destinations in the world. The riding pace varies from quiet walks through a stunning mountainous landscape and thick bush on the lookout for birds and game, to long trots and canters where the terrain is easy.
Bela Bela (Warmbaths) (28.8 km from Rankins Pass)
Ready for a mind-blowing experience with elephants in Bela Bela?
More than the usual 'touch and feed' elephant experience; Adventures With Elephants provide thrilling hands-on interactions for kids and adults with their wonderfully tame elephants.
Learn more about elephants and witness their intelligence, compassionate nature and delight in interacting with their human companions. Friendly, experienced and qualified elephant handlers share their in-depth knowledge and passion for their charges.
Choose experiences ranging from Swims on the Elephants, Elephants Interactions, Elephant-back Safaris, Starlight Safaris or tailor-made activities including weddings, teambuilding, corporate functions and filming.
Adventures With Elephants is located on a stunning wildlife reserve situated just an hour and a half drive north from Pretoria, adjacent to Zebula Country Club.
+27 (0) 14 734 7700
Rooiberg (32.3 km from Rankins Pass)
Rooiberg Golf Club is surrounded by game farms and offers a typical bushveld experience. Par Rating:72
Vaalwater (33.8 km from Rankins Pass)
Horizon Horseback Safaris offers riders two guided experiences on some of the most spectacular wildlife farms in the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve. The emphasis is on quality wildlife viewing on well trained and cared for horses with Horizon guides. Horses are chosen to suit each guest’s ability from the large ranch herd.
Vaalwater (33.8 km from Rankins Pass)
If you’re in Vaalwater looking for unusual handmade products made by locals look no further than Kamotsogo Craft Art.
Although the artwork is contemporary, inspiration is drawn heavily from numerous African aesthetics and cultures.
This wonderful empowerment initiative of the Clive Walker Foundation continues contributing to the meaningful improvement of lives and families within the local community.
Originally established in 2006, this social investment plan nurtures employment opportunities and empowers women through the production, marketing and sales of their unique merchandise.
Vaalwater (34.4 km from Rankins Pass)
Almost the size of the Kruger National Park, the UNESCO Waterberg Biosphere Reserve has it all.
Close encounters with amazing wildlife, vast open spaces, rich biodiversity and the romance of the bushveld contribute to an unforgettable African wilderness experience.
This magical part of South Africa offers discoveries as diverse as its visitors – fascinating people and places are all within easy reach.
Stretching from Marakele National Park in the south west to Wonderkop Nature Reserve in the north east of Limpopo, the reserve houses an immense treasure of archaeological, cultural, and biological diversity.
The small town of Vaalwater serves as the gateway to this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve characterized by undulating hills and endless views.
Explore it on foot, horseback or in your vehicle – you won’t forget it!
Four By Four Trails
Vaalwater (35 km from Rankins Pass)
This 4 x 4 (or 4 x 2) trail features escape routes with rocky and mountainous terrain to navigate. During winter the trail can get very muddy. This is a trail that you will definitely not fall asleep behind the wheel.
Rated 3 to 5.
Vaalwater (35.7 km from Rankins Pass)
At just a three-hour drive from OR Tambo International Airport, Welgevonden Game Reserve is a sought after Big Five game reserve bordering the Marekele National Park in the Waterberg Biosphere. What makes it even more attractive is that it is malaria-free.
Meaning ‘well found’, Welgevonden is a mountainous place of spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife and awesome birdlife that captures the essence of true wilderness.
Home to white rhino, lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo, the reserve also has cheetah, sable, gemsbok, giraffe, bush pig, pangolin, warthog, black-backed jackals and many antelope species.
At night you have the chance of spotting rare and unusual animals such as brown hyena, aardwolf and aardvark.
With over 250 bird species including rare blue cranes, the reserve is also a birder’s dream. Welgevonden also features some superb, delicate Bushman rock paintings.
Visit Welgevonden for amazing wildlife viewing opportunities, an authentic wilderness experience and a wonderful sense of the spirit of Africa.
Bela Bela (Warmbaths) (36 km from Rankins Pass)
Spot the Big Five in a malaria-free reserve in the Waterberg Mountains.
Conveniently situated, Mabalingwe Nature Reserve is an easy two-hour drive from Johannesburg or Pretoria – a great escape from the stresses of urban living.
Gripping sightings of elephant, white rhino, leopard, hippo, giraffe, hyena and sable antelope are routine on this lush Limpopo game park. Spread over 12 500 hectares of pristine wilderness, the rolling hills of the reserve is the birthplace to 32 species of wildlife.
Birders will be kept busy ticking off numerous special sightings with more than 250 bird species on record. Visit Mabalingwe at any time of year and discover some of life's forgotten pleasures - it's definitely worth a trip!
Marakele National Park (37.6 km from Rankins Pass)
Marakele National Park boasts an impressive diversity of wildlife and breathtaking landscapes.
Majestic mountains, grassy hills and deep gorges typify this park in the UNESCO Waterberg Biosphere. Some of the rare plant species found here includes exceptional yellowwood and cedar trees, enormous cycads and tree ferns.
Along with the prospect of exciting elephant, white and black rhino, lion and leopard sightings, there are an amazing variety of birds to be seen. This includes the largest colony of endangered Cape vultures in the world – Marakele is home to more than 800 breeding pairs. Drive up to the Sentech Towers for awesome close encounters with these massive vultures.
Kudu bulls with their magnificent spiral horns are often spotted at Marakele. Other less common antelope species include mountain reedbuck, eland, reedbuck and tsessebe.
Bela Bela (Warmbaths) (37.7 km from Rankins Pass)
Designed by Peter Matkovich, Elements Private Golf Reserve has been rated among the top golf courses in South Africa.
Keeping in theme with it's natural surroundings, the course's intention is to act as a sanctuary away from the city, hence the reference as a reserve. This is a 18-hole course, complete with a clubhouse, driving range, pro shop, and even a swimming pool.
Guests need to be accompanied by a member.